Uranium recovery facility opens at Framatome’s Richland site

Framatome’s new uranium recovery facility in Richland, Wash. Photo: Framatome

Framatome recently announced the opening of a $20-million scrap uranium recovery facility at its fuel manufacturing site in Richland, Wash., one of the French firm’s 14 North American locations. Construction on the approximately 11,000-square-foot building, which replaces a 35-year-old solvent extraction facility, began in July 2017, and it was declared fully operational on September 21, 2020.

According to Framatome’s October 6 announcement, the facility houses new and upgraded equipment for utilizing the solvent extraction process to separate uranium from feed streams containing non-uranium contaminants such as gadolinium. (Non-uranium contaminants, the company noted, include powders, pellets, and liquids that contain non-uranium impurities, making them unsuitable for other forms of recovery.) The recovered uranium is fed through the ammonium diuranate process to extract uranium dioxide. The extracted UO2 is then processed to make nuclear fuel pellets for fuel rods.

Rosatom, Framatome, and GE partner on proposed Bulgarian nuclear plant

Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation, announced on June 18 that it has teamed up with France’s Framatome and General Electric’s GE Steam Power to participate in a tender to construct the Belene nuclear plant in northern Bulgaria. The Belene project would involve the construction of two AES-92 units, similar to the reactors that Rosatom supplied to India.

Framatome completes I&C project at Belgium’s Doel plant

Framatome’s digital instrumentation and control (I&C) systems at the Doel nuclear power plant in Belgium have passed the final site acceptance test, the company announced on June 11. The news marks the completion of the project to modernize the control and emergency systems of Units 1 and 2, both of which entered commercial operation in 1975.

Framatome acquires BWXT’s U.S. nuclear services

Framatome has completed its acquisition of BWX Technologies’ U.S. commercial nuclear services business, the France-based company announced on June 2. With this transaction, the company said, Framatome expands its portfolio of equipment and tooling for nuclear power plant inspections and maintenance.

BWXT will receive an 118,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and the associated 11 acres of land from Framatome in the cashless exchange.